Arthritis is quite a common medical condition, but it is not well understood. Contrary to popular belief, arthritis is not actually a single disease. In fact, it is a blanket term to describe joint pain or joint disease.
According to statistics, more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children are living with some type of arthritis.
Home Remedies That Offer Arthritis Pain Relief
Although conventional medicine routinely treats arthritis with a combination of NSAID drugs and steroids, these methods can cause unwanted side effects. This is why many people living with arthritis choose to include home remedies and supplements in their treatment plan.
These home remedies include:
Epsom Salt (Baths, Lotions, and Sprays)
Epsom salt is a common and inexpensive home remedy that effectively treats chronic muscle and joint pain. A hot Epsom salt bath is ideal for natural muscle relaxation and improved circulation. Epsom salt is actually a component of magnesium, which is a vital mineral that helps ease pain, reduce anxiety, and encourage deeper, more restful sleep.
Since an Epsom salt bath isn’t ideal for everyone (those with diabetes, heat intolerance, or frequent dizzy spells should avoid hot baths), there are other ways to use this home remedy for arthritis pain without stepping into the tub.
In addition to salts you can put in your bath, there are also Epsom salt sprays and lotions you can use. Personally, I highly recommend ProCure Epsom Salt Rub Gel + Aloe Vera.
Note: I will say this, it is not completely natural (there are ingredients in it that I don’t usually approve of), and I don’t have arthritis. However, this gel is one of the few things I have found that actually helps with my chronic shoulder spasms when they get really bad, so I make an exception with this one.
You can also make your own Epsom salt spray by taking a BPA-free plastic spray bottle and filling it with a teaspoon or so of Epsom salt and warm water. Spray this mixture on the affected areas of your body and rub it in. You can apply this at any time of day, but it is most effective to do after a warm shower.
Note: Avoid Epsom salt of any kind if you are allergic to sulfa drugs.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus; essential nutrients your body needs to dull pain. Also, the magnesium contained in apple cider vinegar helps your bones absorb calcium, which is vital to bone strength.
Furthermore, ACV also contains antioxidants that block the damaging effects of free radicals, which can help prevent the cellular and tissue damage characteristic of arthritis.
Yet another helpful benefit of ACV is that it is rich in enzymes and acids that aid in the proper digestion and absorption of nutrients. For anyone with an inflammatory or autoimmune condition, nutrition is exceptionally important!
Apple cider vinegar can be used effectively as a home remedy to treat arthritis in two ways:
- As an internal remedy.
For many arthritis patients, apple cider vinegar not only results in pain relief but also increased mobility. Mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a large cup of water. You can also add honey for sweetness. Drink this mixture once or twice per day. (Apple cider vinegar has a sour taste, so it’s best to always mix with water.)
- As a detoxifying and pain-relieving bath.
You can also use ACV as a detoxifying and pain-relieving bath. To prepare an apple cider vinegar bath:
- Fill a tub with warm (not hot) water.
- Add 2 cups of apple cider vinegar.
- Stir the water.
- Soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Drain the tub.
- Turn the shower on and rinse off thoroughly (with or without soap).
Again, be careful when taking warm or hot baths if you live with a chronic condition. An apple cider vinegar bath can be very intense and cause you to sweat heavily. Be sure to have a bottle of water with you by the tub and a person at home that you’re comfortable with seeing you naked in case you need some help getting out!
An Anti-Inflammatory Diet
One of the most important ‘home remedies’ for arthritis is dietary changes. That’s why it is vital for those who live with arthritis and other inflammatory conditions to consume an anti-inflammatory diet.
I highly recommend cutting gluten out of your diet. Oftentimes, people who do not have celiac disease have non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and joint pain is a primary symptom!
In addition to cutting gluten from your diet, it’s also important to eat anti-inflammatory foods such as:
- Cayenne pepper
- Fresh pineapples
- Fresh cherries
- Wild-caught fish
- Leafy green vegetables
- Bone broth
- Coconut oil
Supplements for Natural Arthritis Pain Relief
There are many supplements that you can take for natural arthritis pain relief, but remember, just because it’s natural, doesn’t automatically mean it’s safe. Be sure to talk to your doctor about possible contraindications and prescription medication interactions before using supplements to treat your arthritis pain.
Also, and this is very important, any supplement that claims to “cure” arthritis pain is snake oil. There is no cure for arthritis, although it can be put into remission. Instead, look for products that offer a reduction of pain and increased mobility, which are reasonable expectations of a supplement.
Here are some supplements that may help relieve your arthritis pain naturally:
Supplementation with omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) has been shown to improve pain and reduce NSAID use in some patients with RA.
It’s important to note that fish oil may take up to three months to exert a maximum effect, so it may be necessary to use fish oil supplements alongside NSAID pain relievers initially.
Due to its mild anti-inflammatory effects and low risk of harm, fish oil supplementation may be an effective and reasonable treatment option for RA patients with mild residual joint pain.
”“Oxidative stress and inflammation play a pivotal role in various diseases like diabetes, cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease and cardiovascular diseases. Curcumin, therefore, could be a therapeutic option for the treatment of these diseases.”
Note: If you are taking blood-thinning medications, talk with your doctor before taking turmeric supplements or using the spice in your food.
”“A highly purified and standardized ginger extract had a statistically significant effect on reducing symptoms of OA of the knee. This effect was moderate. There was a good safety profile, with mostly mild GI adverse events in the ginger extract group.”
Note: If you have diabetes, are on blood-thinning drugs, or have gallstones, do you not use ginger without your doctor’s approval.
Ginger can be eaten raw in small slices, cut up and put into smoothies, taken in capsule form, or enjoyed as a tea.
According to a study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, stinging nettles showed promise in treating base-of-thumb arthritis pain. In this study, 27 patients used stinging nettle or a placebo as an external treatment for their pain.
”“After one week's treatment with nettle sting, score reductions on both visual analogue scale (pain) and health assessment questionnaire (disability) were significantly greater than with placebo.”
Stinging nettle can also be taken in supplement or tea form.
Finally, if you take herbal supplements daily, write down and tape the list to your refrigerator.
Also, inform your doctor and those close to you about any medications and/or supplements you take just in case there is a contraindication or unexpected side effect.
If used safely and according to dosing instructions, these home remedies and supplements can help relieve your arthritis pain naturally and give you back the mobility and quality of life you remember!